It seems that the Pakistani super-rich have rejoiced in one of the world’s luxury cities, away from the curious eyes of their compatriots. The physical distance seems to work for a long time.
For the first time, Geo News announces that over the past decade and a half, Pakistanis have bought estates worth an estimated $ 1.1 trillion in the heart of Dubai. Interestingly enough, the majority of them did not mention these traits in their annual returns and said that they are shifting their assets out of the country to avoid being caught in the face of serious action against this unexplained money.
According to confidential documents available at Geo News, more than 7,000 super-rich Pakistanis have bought luxury residential villas, apartments and estates in 12 prestigious locations in the capital of the Emirates. The documents contain data from about 34,000 wealthy families from a total of 118 countries.
The buying frenzy of these affluent Pakistanis is so great that they have become the largest overseas property buyers in Dubai – and have even left investors from India, the United States, the UK and the rest of the world – thanks to the poured Rs.1 trillion for them Properties off.
This list of who’s who includes politicians, some of whom are members of parliament, retired generals, former judges, real estate tycoons, business people, bureaucrats, lawyers, actors, singers and some media personalities.
The surprise revelations come at a time when the country’s Supreme Court has been providing information on foreign bank accounts and foreign assets to the State Bank of Pakistan, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, the Intelligence Bureau, the Inter-Intelligence Service, the Military Intelligence Service, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Research Agency. which are held by Pakistani citizens.
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) did not formally comment on the matter and confine themselves to saying: “The Foreign Assets Declaration, 1972, was blatantly violated by such investors and not by they have reported their foreign investments to the SBP. ”
An overwhelming majority has never disclosed their foreign offshore assets, violating the foreign asset declaration laws. The authorities admit that a now dormant investigation by the FIA over the past two and a half years has detected only 100 investors. The regulators – FBR, FIA, SECP and SBP – have not questioned the legitimacy of the transfer of funds to buy these properties, and no action has yet been taken.
On the basis of a recent four-month investigation in Pakistan and Dubai by Aaj Shahzaib Khanzada Ke Sath, the correspondent of the geo-news agency, about 5,000 Pakistanis have been buying property in their name since 2002, while some 2,000 Pakistani citizens have real estate as “Benamis”. Almost 5,600 Indians, 887 Canadians, 799 Americans, 400 British, 194 Afghans, 332 Australians and 83 New Zealanders have also committed to the high-end real estate market. The rest came from the 113 countries.
Pakistanis bought over 967 villas or residential properties in luxury green areas; 75 precious apartments in Emirates Hills; 165 properties in Discovery Garden (residential and commercial); 167 apartments in Jumeirah Island; 123 residential properties in Jumeirah Park; 245 plush apartments in Jumeirah Village; 10 properties in Palm Deira; 160 in palms Jabel Ali; 25 properties in Palm Juemirah Coastlines; 234 real estate in International City; and 230 in Dubai Cilicon.
The rest of the real estate was bought elsewhere in Dubai. Some 200 Pakistanis with Canadian citizenship, 50 with Australian citizenship and four Pakistanis with New Zealand citizenship have residential properties in Dubai.
The base price (units with the lowest value) of a property in Dubai is AED1 million, and the properties of the upper category amounted to up to AED15 million, according to some recognized real estate consultants in Dubai. They claim that the estimated value of 7,000 properties owned by Pakistanis in Dubai amounts to AED 35 billion (approximately $ 9.529 billion or Pakistan Rs. 0.004 trillion).
For valuation, the properties were roughly divided into four categories. Considering that the upper end pieces are less numerous, the estimates were calculated as 10% high end objects (700 units) at AED 15,000,000 each; 20% upper to middle real estate (1,400 units) at AED 10,000,000 each; 20% of mid-level value real estate (1,400 units) of AED 5,000,000 each and 50% of low-value real estate (3,500 units) of AED 1,000,000 each.
Despite repeated requests made to them by Geo News, FBR, SBP, and FIA decided to remain silent on the matter. This correspondent repeatedly made e-mail, WhatsApp and SMS inquiries to 1,200 prominent Pakistanis who own properties in Dubai, of which only eight have responded in the past three weeks.
Likewise, neither the Pakistani mission in the United Arab Emirates nor the State Department of Dubai answered questions from Geo News. This correspondent met more than two dozen concerned officials of the FBR, SBP and FIA in Pakistan and a number of Pakistanis and real estate consultants in Dubai.
However, the authorities admitted that a large number of Pakistani citizens were found holding real estate such as luxurious apartments, apartments and other valuable property worth billions of rupees, and the funds were transferred to the UAE through illegal channels against foreign assets’ declaration Regulations 1972 and the rules and regulations of SBP.
“The FIA wrote to the Pak (istani) mission in Dubai on 17 August 2015, but no response has been received and a letter has also been sent to the authorities in Dubai by the State Department, but no response has been received. FIA sought details from Pakistani citizens who bought real estate in foreign countries and explained this to the SBP from 1990 to 2017. SBP officially informed the FIA by a letter dated September 23, 2015 in which no Pakistani citizen was aware of his immovable property Properties reported outside Pakistan by providing foreign assets (statement), “revealed a high-ranking FIA official monitoring the progress in this case.
He speculated that funds invested in real estate in the United Arab Emirates and other countries were largely transferred via “Hundi” and “Hawala” networks and thus no money trail can be found for such transactions. The foreign tax administrations also did not cooperate to provide the Pakistani tax authorities with complete information on Pakistani landowners in their territorial jurisdiction, he added.
All of these individuals or persons who have acquired real estate abroad and have not reported it in their balance sheets filed with FBR may, in addition to other punitive provisions of that Regulation, be prosecuted pursuant to Sections 192 and 192-A of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001. They also violate anti-money laundering legislation because they allegedly channeled their (mostly mistreated) money abroad through illegal tools such as “Hundi” and “Hawala”.
The foreign assets declaration law reads as follows: “Any person who owns immovable property, whether foreign or non-foreign, in a country other than Pakistan must provide SBP with their description and value and income from it Citizens of Pakistan, that is to say persons who are employed abroad in any capacity or for workers residing in another country. ”
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail’s adviser to the geo news program ‘Aaj Shahzeb Khazada kay Sath’ said that a person bringing dollars to Pakistan can not pay a tax or be challenged by the FBR. According to Miftah, people first send money abroad, Hawala, and later make it white through amnesty schemes. But the government wants to bring a new system through the practice.
Miftah said the government wants to introduce an amnesty law during its current term. Actually, it would be wrong to call it an amnesty scheme because they would end the amnesty plan, Miftah said.
He said that her goal was to create a system to encourage Pakistanis to invest in the country and to give them a chance to regularize the money for those who have assets in or out of the country.
Tax expert Shabbar Zaidi said that Pakistan had not been given an amnesty plan for foreign assets, adding that the new initiative would be different from the previous ones because it was comprehensive to solve international problems.
He said that given the changes at international level, it is essential for Pakistanis to declare their foreign assets in order to protect themselves and their wealth. People need to understand that it is an international problem, not local, Zaidi stressed.